Wizards-Nuggets Preview

The Associated Press

With eight of their next nine at home, the Denver Nuggets will look to get right back on track after their six-game win streak was snapped their last time out.

They may have a good chance to do so Friday night against the improved Washington Wizards, who still can't stop their losing ways on the road and have lost nine of 10 meetings with the Nuggets.

The Nuggets (24-17) have won 13 of 14 in Denver and are 15-2 there for the second-best home mark in the NBA.

Denver ranks near the top of the league in home scoring with 106.2 points per game, and it's averaged 109.4 during its five-game win streak at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets' 117-97 loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday saw a rare off night from leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, who had 11 points and shot 3 of 10. Gallinari averaged 21.7 points in the previous six games.

Ty Lawson also had a rough performance, scoring two points in 20 minutes after totaling 44 in his previous two contests.

"There's always those three or four or five games a year that you can't get it going, and we couldn't get it going,'' coach George Karl said.

Gallinari and Lawson combined for 42 points in a 108-104 win at Washington on Jan. 20 in the most recent meeting between the teams.

Washington has played better lately with victories over Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Orlando for its first three-game winning streak of the season. That was snapped with a 95-94 loss at Sacramento on Wednesday.

Making their second stop on a five-game trip, the Wizards (7-29) will try to end an eight-game road skid after falling to a league-worst 1-16 away from home. Washington ranks last in the league on the road in scoring (84.6), field-goal percentage (39.9) and free-throw attempts (16.1).

The Wizards might be able to improve in those areas with John Wall gaining strength since his return. The point guard, who's played three games after missing 33 due to a knee injury, had 14 points and 10 assists against the Kings and is averaging 13.3 and 6.7.

"I felt good, except that I missed two free throws,'' Wall said.

Rookie Bradley Beal has also sparked the team's recent surge by averaging 20.3 points and going 13 for 18 from beyond the arc in the last four contests.

Washington could be without leading scorer Jordan Crawford for a fifth straight game because of an ankle injury.

The Wizards have shot 50.6 percent from the floor and gone 15 for 28 from 3-point range in their last two games. They'll try to match that efficiency against the Nuggets, who have allowed opponents to shoot 50.4 percent and 42.9 (30 for 70) on 3s in the past three contests.

Nene will make his first return to Denver since the three-team deal that sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver in March. He's averaging 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds.

What to Read Next